Gang War

Crime of the Century

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Crime of the Century collects two of Gang War's studio sessions as well as a live concert in Montréal. The studio recordings may be the best-quality recordings of Gang War, but they are nowhere near perfection. The grainy tracks have charm, but are only solid in highlighting how out of it Johnny Thunders was. The band seems to be barely holding it together, but still manages to make Gang War sound like it had great potential. Some tracks appear tossed off and seem like the group could have added more to them. The simplicity of some songs appears to be intentional, but others just sound like they've been thrown together. "Gonna Be a Wheel," "Who Do Voodoo," and "King of the Gypsies" are rooted in Thunders' attitude, and don't seem to need anything more to make them work. "King of the Gypsies" is the only track where Wayne Kramer and Thunders come together and feed off each other's styles. Kramer plays a Spanish-style solo and Thunders proclaims his independence. It isn't complicated. "King of the Gypsies" is the best Gang War has to offer from the band's two studio sessions. The live show in Montréal is full of covers that range from James Brown to Nancy Sinatra to cartoon theme songs. As to be expected from a Gang War live recording, the sound quality is poor. Throughout the studio recordings and the live show, the members of Gang War make a steady case for their potential but never fully realize it.

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